[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Intermittent clouds
Intermittent clouds
77°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 20
2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]


Caroline Ward-Holland and Kagen Holland

Caroline Ward-Holland and son Kagen Holland

[KHTS] – A Santa Clarita Valley woman and her son are leading a 650-mile pilgrimage to all of the California missions in protest of Wednesday’s canonization of Father Junipero Serra, the original architect of the mission system.

Caroline Ward-Holland and her son, Kagen Holland, are Tataviam descendants from the Castaic area. Their ancestors have been living in the Santa Clarita Valley for 1,600 years.

“After hearing Pope Francis announce that he was going to give sainthood to Serra, I was appalled. I was literally sick to my stomach,” Ward-Holland said. “He was at the forefront of all the authorities to my family and he is going to be granted sainthood?”

Ward-Holland and her son were originally going to walk from their family’s home to the San Fernando Mission but decided to walk to all 21 California missions, starting at the northernmost and working their way down the coast to San Diego.

The pair have been joined at various stages of the walk by other native community members and have garnered a fair amount of media attention along the way. They were expected to be in Carmel, where Serra is entombed, on Wednesday.

Follow their trip on the website, “Walk for the Ancestors.”

Serra's grave marker at the Carmel Mission.

Serra’s grave marker at the Carmel Mission.

“We are the first people of this nation,” she said. “(Serra’s canonization is) an insult. It’s disrespectful. It’s saying (we) are second-class citizens.”

From 1769 until his death 15 years later, Serra worked in California as part of the Spanish empire’s expansion from Mexico City. Serra founded nine missions from San Diego to San Francisco from age 55 until his death at 70.

Serra initiated the building of the missions that line California and remain a top tourist attraction, according to a CNN report. Every fourth-grader in the state must learn the history of the 21 Spanish missions.

650walk-missionmap“It wasn’t that that the native peoples were dragged into the missions by force, but they kind of had little choice in some senses because there at least was some kind of food there,” said Professor Robert Senkewicz of Santa Clara University, in a CNN interview.

Once in the missions, the Indians were baptized and couldn’t leave without permission.

If they didn’t return on time, the priest would dispatch soldiers and other mission Indians, “and they would forcibly bring people back to the mission,” Senkewicz said. “It’s an odd sort of thing which is very difficult to understand now because people were invited into the mission.

“When they were returned, the punishment was flogging, and the flogging was very severe and it was very, very intense, and it was meant to be a painful deterrent,” the historian added. “And the flogging was pretty brutal at times.”

No documented evidence exists, however, that Serra himself flogged or used corporal punishment on the Indians, according to the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

650walk_massgraveSerra often distanced himself and his missions from the soldiers’ garrisons, and he “was constantly critiquing the military for its treatment of the Native Americans,” including rape of Indian women, said Fr. Ken Laverone, a church canon lawyer and a Franciscan in Sacramento who as vice postulator is two degrees removed from the Vatican in Serra’s canonization process, according to CNN.

“The historical record of this era remains incomplete due to the relative absence of native testimony, but it is clear that while missionaries brought agriculture, the Spanish language and culture, and Christianity to the native population, American Indians suffered in many California missions,” according to the official California school curriculum, from a CNN report. “The death rate was extremely high. Contributing factors included the hardships of forced labor and, primarily, the introduction of diseases for which the native population did not have immunity. Moreover, the imposition of forced labor and highly structured living arrangements degraded individuals, constrained families, circumscribed native culture and negatively impacted scores of communities.”

Ward-Holland said the Pope “is putting a rubber stamp of these actions being OK.”

An estimated 300,000 Indians were living in California prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1769. Within a couple of decades, their population was reduced to about 150,000.

650walk_carolinenativeThousands of Native Americans are buried in mass graves under the missions, according to CNN and Ward-Holland.

“They discovered St. Peter’s remains under the Vatican. They are adorned in gold,” Ward-Holland said. “Our people are under a parking lot without so much as a marker.

“I don’t understand why they would reward someone who was so horrible.”

Francis, the first Latin American pope, advanced the sainthood for Serra because he was “one of the founding fathers of the United States” and a “special patron of the Hispanic people of the country,” according to a CNN story.

650walk_groupFor many Native Americans, Latinos and others, Serra was no saint, and his pending canonization makes an old wound bleed again, according to CNN. But to those who champion the missionaries’ daring foray into the dominion of American Indians, the sainthood heralds an apotheosis for the padre who brought the word of Christ here.

Many people in Ward-Holland’s family are Catholic. Her father was an altar boy.

“I will sit there and mourn our ancestors (during the canonization),” Ward-Holland said. “The cross is no longer a sign of Christianity. It’s a sign of slavery. Genocide is what Serra did.”

 

650walk_walkmap

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

7 Comments

  1. Jamie Sands Jamie Sands says:

    Caroline Ward Holland 😀

  2. Waste of hiking shoes! Get over it, the missions are great!

  3. The missions are on par with concentration camps and plantations in the south. Sexual assault and slavery happened.

  4. Eddie Adame Eddie Adame says:

    Isn’t a saint A good thing I’m confused somebody please help me

  5. Joyce Barnes says:

    I was born in Ventura California and always had great love for all of the Missions and the man that was given the credit for founding them. I am not Catholic but have respect to and for this Pope Franis and consider this Canonization as a great honor.

  6. mboron says:

    People hear stories but know little or nothing of
    the real history of Fr. Serra and the Missions, nor the part the Spanish conquistadors played in
    the life of Indians in California. Read some real
    history books that show how people in general lived and worked in those days. Nothing was easy.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Jul 20, 2018
Court: Chiquita Landfill Must Comply with CUP, Pay County $12 Mil.
The L.A. County Superior Court on July 17 sided with Los Angeles County and dismissed a portion of Chiquita Canyon LLC's complaint, which challenged 13 conditions of the county's conditional use permit governing how the landfill operates, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced Friday.
Friday, Jul 20, 2018
Suspected Van Thieves Crash, Rupture Gas, Water Lines in Valencia
Four men allegedly stole a van and crashed it at Cinema Drive and Valencia Boulevard late Friday afternoon, breaking gas and water lines and snarling rush-hour traffic in the center of the city.
Friday, Jul 20, 2018
SCV Water Board Trims Own Meeting Attendance Pay
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's board of directors voted in its Tuesday meeting to revise its per-diem payment policy for board members attending industry-related meetings and conferences.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The L.A. County Superior Court on July 17 sided with Los Angeles County and dismissed a portion of Chiquita Canyon LLC's complaint, which challenged 13 conditions of the county's conditional use permit governing how the landfill operates, Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced Friday.
Court: Chiquita Landfill Must Comply with CUP, Pay County $12 Mil.
Four men allegedly stole a van and crashed it at Cinema Drive and Valencia Boulevard late Friday afternoon, breaking gas and water lines and snarling rush-hour traffic in the center of the city.
Suspected Van Thieves Crash, Rupture Gas, Water Lines in Valencia
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission has announced $4,518,000 in two-year grants to 216 nonprofit arts organizations through its Organizational Grant Program, and the Santa Clarita Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival are among the grantees.
Santa Clarita Philharmonic, Shakespeare Festival Win County Arts Grants
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's board of directors voted in its Tuesday meeting to revise its per-diem payment policy for board members attending industry-related meetings and conferences.
SCV Water Board Trims Own Meeting Attendance Pay
College of the Canyons men's basketball player Robert Moss will continue his playing career at University of Saint Katherine after committing to join the Firebirds program.
COC Hoopster Robert Moss Commits to University of Saint Katherine
When wives earn more than their husbands, a puzzling thing can happen: Husbands say they earn more than they are and wives underreport their income, according to new Census Bureau research.
Census Research: Spouses Report Earnings Differently When Wives Earn More
Responding to a booming economy and a generous state budget, administrators on Thursday approved the first tuition decrease for the University of California system in nearly 20 years.
University of California Cuts Tuition for First Time in 20 Years
The William S. Hart Union High School District and Spirit Holding, developers of Castaic High School, will host a community kick-off event on Friday, Aug. 3, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. celebrating the one-year countdown to the grand opening of the new school, currently under construction.
Aug. 3: ‘Countdown to Castaic High’ Public Celebration
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, July 24, starting at 9:30 a.m.
July 24: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert for Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24, as high temperatures have been forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Heat Alert Called for Monday, Tuesday
The Lancaster JetHawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but two late home runs from Stockton's Sandber Pimentel led the Ports to victory in a 5-4 final on Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Lancaster Can’t Stop Pimentel, Ports
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Department of Justice have made public the government's plan for the court-ordered reunification of children ages 5 years and older who were separated from their parents by immigration authorities.
Feds Detail Plan to Reunite Immigrant Children with Parents
2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]
During a press conference on Thursday at the Gerdau steel mill in Rancho Cucamonga, Chief Eric Parra announced the destruction of 3,566 weapons confiscated within in Los Angeles County. This event comes typically in July, in compliance with California Penal Code 18005(c), which calls for weapons unable to be sold to the public or returned to their owners, to be destroyed.
More than 3,500 Weapons Destroyed at Annual Destruction Event
The Summer Art Festival, at the Oaks Club of Valencia, invites you to a fun, free artists’ reception on Saturday, Aug. 11, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Aug. 11: Summer Art Festival at Oaks Club
When you think "Advanced Manufacturing," Santa Clarita Valley probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind.
SCV Paves the Way for Advanced Manufacturing
(CN) – Delivering a blow to a Silicon Valley billionaire, the California Supreme Court on Wednesday erased a November ballot measure proposing to divide the Golden State in three.
State Supreme Court Tosses Ballot Measure to Split California in Three
Internationally famous Doña Oxford aka “The Goddess of Soul,” is fronting one of the hottest Blues bands of the 21st century. She has toured all over the world, bringing her amazing keyboard playing and vocals to devoted fans in Europe, Japan, Canada and the United States.
July 20: Valencia Jazz & Blues Series to Feature Doña Oxford
No business is immune from the unthinkable. Workplace violence is an increasingly important topic for organizations of all types.
Aug. 21: Active Shooter Awareness Training at VIA Luncheon
St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish Church is holding their 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show Friday, Aug. 24 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Aug. 24: St. Kateri 2nd Annual Summer Night Car Show
The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority on Thursday launched the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal, dubbed LA-HOP, the new Countywide Web-based portal that channels outreach support to people experiencing homelessness.
County Launches Online Portal to Combat Homelessness
LOS ANGELES - Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced Tuesday the company is now offering $75 rebates for residential customers who purchase eligible Energy Star certified smart thermostats that help residents manage their heating and cooling costs and conserve energy.
SoCal Gas Offering Rebates for Customers with Smart Thermostats
STOCKTON – Brian Serven put together one of his best offensive performances of the season to lead the JetHakwks to a 7-2 to win over the Stockton Ports on Wednesday night at Banner Island Ballpark.
Serven Leads JetHawks to Victory in Series Opener Against Stockton
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Brad Renison to become the new Director of Transportation. Most recently, Mr. Renison has been serving as the Interim Director of Transportation.
Hart District Names Brad Renison New Transportation Director
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Díaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera.
Dodgers Acquire 4-Time All-Star Manny Machado
The William S. Hart Union High School District’s Governing Board voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Dr. Catherine Nicholas to become the new principal of Sequoia School.
Hart District Appoints Dr. Catherine Nicholas as New Sequoia School Principal
Welcome to paradise at a high-energy, live show coming up in Santa Clarita’s Concerts in the Park series, presented by Logix Federal Credit Union, this Saturday, July 21, at 7:00 p.m., in Central Park (27150 Bouquet Canyon Road).
July 21: Concerts in the Park to Feature Green Day Tribute Band
SCV Sheriff's Crime Prevention Unit deputies and station detectives have noted an increase in the thefts of catalytic converters from cars in Santa Clarita Valley. The favored target of thieves has been the Toyota Prius (2005-2009).
Deputies Warn of Rise in Catalytic Converter Thefts from Prius Cars
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy Thursday for sensitive individuals in San Gabriel Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
Would you like to be a volunteer at beautiful Red Rock Canyon State Park? Learn about the volunteer program and the park’s natural and cultural history at our two-day volunteer training, Saturdays, Sept. 1st and 8th from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Ricardo Visitor Center (new volunteers must attend both days).
Red Rock Canyon State Park to Hold 2-Day Volunteer Training
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announces the scheduled closure of the Tejon Safety Roadside Rest Areas on Interstate 5 (Golden State Freeway) to replace a water main line.
Caltrans Announces Temporary Rest Area Closure on I-5 at Tejon
1924 - Sherman Block, L.A. County's 29th Sheriff (1982-1998), born in Chicago [story]
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies have arrested a Santa Clarita woman who allegedly spray-painted walls on a city park building in Saugus early Tuesday morning, also discovering she was allegedly in possession of forged checks.
Woman Charged with Defacing Park Building, Check Forgery
The Paramount Network has set Aug. 11 as the premiere date of 'I Am Paul Walker,' a new film documentary tracing the life of the late actor, who was killed in a 2013 car crash in Valencia.
Aug. 11: Paul Walker Film Doc to Debut on Paramount Network
Marston's Restaurant in Valencia is helping raise funds for Carousel Ranch, Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit organization that provides equestrian therapy for disabled and special needs children and adults.
July 15-Aug. 15: Marston’s Restaurant Fundraising for Carousel Ranch
Members of Santa Clarita Valley home haunters Beware the Dark Realm will appear on a panel at the third annual "Midsummer Scream" Halloween Festival and scarefest at the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29.
July 28: SCV’s Beware the Dark Realm to Join Panel at Midsummer Scream